Realistic Chrysnbon Wood

The last post on this topic contains useful information for prepping any Chrysnbon kit and, likewise, this post teaches you how to take that weird, overly obvious grain and transform it into aged oak. If this isn’t the look you’re going for, don’t despair! In other tutorials, I’ll show you how to create newer, lighter wood, as well as chipped and painted wood. All the different looks, however, start at the same point: with an airbrushed base of Vallejo Model Air “wood,” or colour 71.077. If you aren’t airbrushing, that’s fine! Just find some spay paint in roughly the same colour.

So, by way of supply list, for this second part of the tutorial you will need:

  • Vallejo Model Air, wood*
  • Vallejo Model Wash, dark grey
  • AK Interactive, light earth (available here)
  • AK Interactive, RLM 79 (available here)
  • Dry brushes (I recommend this set)
  • Vallejo Model Air, bright metallic brass*
  • Vallejo Premium Airbrush, satin varnish*

* To complete this project successfully, you cannot use brush on varnish. I would also highly recommend not using a brush on colour for the base coat, or for the hardware. Rather, substitute a spray colour. I recommend Tamiya, but honestly the brand doesn’t really matter as much as the colour. Please, don’t go all out (or overspend!) trying to source exactly what I’ve found. This is supposed to be fun! When it comes to varnish, Testors and Krylon are also great brands! And “looks like brass hardware” is “looks like brass hardware.” Likewise, with the base colour, I recommended Tamiya in the last post but Rust-Oleum also makes some terrific products. The colour (and that you like the colour) is really what is most important.

For the rest, AK Interactive and Vallejo products are available at most hobby shops and on Amazon. AKI paints aren’t cheap, but they’re well worth the cost especially for dry brushing. Moreover, you’ll run out of kits to build long before you run out of either of the colours used here if you use them for dry brushing. A little paint, in that department, goes a long way!

Here we are with our base coat. Yes, it looks quite a bit like the unpainted plastic! The reason why, however, it’s so important to apply both primer and paint is that we need something for our detail work to adhere onto. Were we to leave everything bare plastic, we wouldn’t be able to use techniques like washing, dry brushing, etc as our paint would just slide right off.

Our first step is to apply some wash. This is, by definition, a messy step. Please, please do NOT stress yourself out overmuch about how it looks. This stuff dries to a much more appealing finish and, regardless, dry brushing covers a multitude of sins. Your goal should just be for everything to have about the same amount of wash on it. If you aren’t happy with what you’ve got, want it to be darker or things look uneven, let the first coat dry completely (at least an hour or so, unattended) before applying a second.

I usually leave my pieces to dry overnight before moving on to the next step, as dry brushing needs (as the name suggests) a completely dry surface. It also needs a completely dry brush! If you aren’t familiar with dry brushing as a technique, here’s a great tutorial from one of my favourite YouTube channels. Miniac also has some amazing advice for getting started with airbrushing, for those of you thinking about taking the plunge.

I always start with my lightest colour first. This helps to establish value. With dry brushing, slow and steady always wins the race so the goal should be to build up layers of colour. Achieving this look, here, took several minutes. Remember: you can always (SLOWLY) add more, but an excess of paint is going to be very, very hard to remove.

See the difference? Suddenly, everything’s blending together! I did each piece (remember, we’re still waiting on final assembly) one colour at a time. I also frequently checked my pieces against each other, to make sure that everything looked…not like twins, no two pieces of wood look alike, but like siblings or maybe even cousins. Minor variations are to be expected!

Here, I’m dry fitting everything together to see if I’m pleased with the result. I won’t break out the glue again until I’ve a) finished painting, b) applied varnish, and c) glued in the glass, and hardware. The hardware, I haven’t given much time to as all I’ve done is sanded, primed, and sprayed. It’s sitting somewhere on my workbench, completely cured and ready to be installed.

And we are ready for varnish!

Here are some glamour shots to sing you out. I hope this tutorial was helpful, and please let me know what you think in the comments! In the next tutorials, we’ll be continuing with the theme of Chrysnbon, exploring the contents of my newly purchased “Cut-Up’s” books as well as various finishing opportunities. Chrysnbon kits are an under-explored opportunity.

PS: How should I fill this?

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